A Toastmasters conference

November 28, 2011 at 4:34 pm 2 comments

How many Toastmasters does it take to make a good conference? The more the better.

While I don`t know exact numbers, I do know that the whole lot of us filled Salon C, D and E  for the Friday Fun night at the London Convention Centre this weekend. Whenever we gathered as a large group, we could hear a great hum in the room, for Toastmasters gather to speak and communicate. This is the District 86 Toastmasters Fall Conference with the theme, Putting the Pieces Together.

While many Toastmasters stayed at the Hilton London, attached to the convention centre, a fellow Toastmaster friend and I opted for a Bed and Breakfast, a five-minute walk or so at the Dufferin Street Woodfield B & B. That`s five minutes with good walking shoes and unencumbered. A lovely place where Damian and Anne took good care of us in their spacious 130-year-old home and where. admittedly, we took our time over breakfast both mornings.

Friday evening is Fun Night at this conference, with quite a few folks dressing up for Academy Awards or as their favourite movie characters. I had one in mind but not the time to look for a costume, and so I enjoyed the costumes of others and posed on the red carpet with other Toastmasters, danced with Minnie Mouse and Cleopatra and others. Before the dj began spinning his discs, we had a presentation by Kai Rambow, a Distinguished Toastmaster twice over and an accredited speaker, ably introduced by Gregory C. N. Smith, a presenter later in the conference.

Kai`s presentation on humour was aptly titled But I`m not funny! In his learning, he both studied and met famous comedians to learn the kinds of humour they were best at. I must admit to being a sponge, soaking in the presentation and making few notes. I enjoyed Kai`s speaking style and friendly communication. Through a series of stories and anecdotes, he told us about people like Jay Leno and others whose comedy styles had appealed to him. He recommended people like Carol Burnett, Jay leno, Rita Rudner, Bill Maher ( a bit controversial), Craig Ferguson and Jimmy Fallon.  And before  his presentation was complete, he had us trying out the humour with one such line: The good news is my speech is finished; the bad news is…  We played with this at our table groups and some shared with the group at large.

Fun Night presentations were not over yet. Smith introduced Titus, hip-hop artist and actor, who taught us the importance of warming up our voices and had us making faces and wierd sounds. He asked  us to help him with an exercise. We`d hold up something at our table and he`d include it in his rap story, a perfect Table Topics session for Titus who didn`t know what objects were coming. He also recited a poem he  wrote earlier this year for a word aloud event. I hope he puts that poem in print sometime so that others can read it.

That`s Friday night. Saturday events come in a separate edition tomorrow.



Entry filed under: leadership, speaking. Tags: , .

Waterloo Region Museum, Part 2 Toastmasters is a place to learn- Conference Part 2

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. carolynstearns (@carolynstearns)  |  November 29, 2011 at 4:04 am

    Sounds fun right down to perfect accomodations!

    • 2. storygal  |  December 2, 2011 at 2:45 pm

      Thanks, Carolyn. We had a super time. I’ve put up the other two posts, one for each day.


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